Mandarin Dynasty

Veg-Friendly Restaurant
Average: 4 (21 votes)


Web site: <none>
Email: <none>
Location: Hillcrest (map)
Info Hours
1458 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103-3405

Reviews (Write a review)

Author Title / Comment Rating
Joe (unverified)
Sep 15, 2009
Adequate Vegan Fare

Service: very friendly, and food arrives quickly.

Food: Ordered their kung pao 'chicken,' and was given a very rudimentary dish of cubed tofu and veggies with standard hoisin sauce. Wasn't impressed. Also ordered the veg pot stickers. These were unusual in flavor (in a good way).

Overall: Might try this restaurant again someday, but 1st visit left me somewhat underwhelmed with the food, which frankly wasn't any tastier than the veg fare you'd find at most any Chinese restaurant.

Leigh (unverified)
Dec 30, 2008

By far the best vegetarian restaurant in San Diego. They have the best lunch specials. I use to ditch school so I could eat there during their lunch hours. As well, the service is amazing. I do not live in San Diego anymore, however, this is the first place I go as soon as a step foot off the plane in SD.

Miguel Velez (unverified)
Oct 22, 2008
Vegi won ton soup

This soup is the best! I always heard that chicken soup is good when you have a cold but I'm vegetarian. I had a cold and didn't want to eat but had the vegi won ton soup and it was great. Maybe I was just getting better anyway but now I have to have their soup when I'm feeling a cold come on. Other items are good too.

stacy (unverified)
Jun 07, 2007
Favorite Restaurant in the WORLD

I'm a regular, they know my name. I love the vegetarian curry 'chicken,' which is vegan! there's a big veggie menu. the veggie pot stickers are wonderful. I love Mandarin Dynasty.

Ian (unverified)
Feb 19, 2007
Definitely underated

I can't believe I'm seeing so many people saying they've gotten sick after eating here. I eat at Mandarin Dynasty more than any other restaurant and I've never once gotten sick in the 7 years that I've been eating there.

The sweet and sour pork, honey chicken, beef & broccoli and salt & pepper chicken are all extremely tasty (vegetarian version of course).

The service is excellent and the waitstaff consists of the same 3 people every time you go, so you know you'll have a consistent experience. The cooking can vary a bit, but it's very affordable and always tasty. The lunch special is an extremely good value (if you go for dinner, you'll almost definitely be taking home another meal in leftovers).

I think 'food poisoning' is a pretty serious charge and I don't think they'd be in business for as long as they have been if they had a consistent experience with food poisoning that many of these reviewers describe.

Rob (unverified)
Feb 16, 2007
Hell yeah

The vegetarian kung pao chicken is where it's at -- also the vegetarian sweet & sour pork. Very tasty. The veggie egg rolls and wontons are also recommended. The tea is free, I believe.

hunter (unverified)
Aug 11, 2006

all my friends have gotten food poisening from mandaryn.. but wahatever. its good everyonce4 in a while.

aimee (unverified)
Jan 12, 2006

My husband and I were excited to find a Chinese restaraunt with so many veggie options. The first meal there was okay, the second time I threw up afterwards. Coulda just been me- my husband was fine. I probably won't go back, though. I think the quality is pretty low. I would love a veggie chinese restaurant with high quality ingredients!

T.M. (unverified)
Jun 21, 2005
every couple of years

I've been to Mandarin three times in about 8 years. The first time I got a meat potsticker by mistake. They said sorry and brought the veggie ones. The second time I had a lunch special which was cheap and good, fake sweet and sour pork I think and they even had a veggie soup. The next time I went with a non veg friend. One of the things we got was a fake chicken, I think homemade, it tasted like dough balls, we both hated it. The other thing (tofu?) was good though. I would go again if someone invited me there but I never think of it on my own, even though it's close.

TOLSON (unverified)
Apr 24, 2005
Sunday Meal

We started our meal with the mini veg eggrolls. What I liked best was that I wasn't biting into a tube of grease. (one of the main reasons why I won't order fried foods when I dine out) The eggrolls were a golden crisp,flaky, veggies were fresh- delicious! I ordered the Yu Hsiang 'chicken'(a tofu mock chicken- excellent.) stir fried with red and green peppers, mushroom, in a brown sauce. The veggies were cooked to perfection, slightly crisp, the way I like it. I got a hearty portion of steamed rice to go with my meal.

My husband ordered the Lemon Chicken. He says it was lightly tangy, the chicken was moist, the fried rice was not greasy. Excellent.

+ The hot tea is free, the staff was friendly, the restaurant was spotless. For only 20 dollars, you can't go wrong. You will always have some food to bring home.

mikojak (unverified)
Feb 28, 2005
veggie orange chicken

It's a little doughy but so good. The bean curd soup is on another level. I can't complain about anything except the fact that the place always smells like windex and I always see the waitress spraying down the glass tops of the tables. Isn't that a violation? Oh well, I'll let that slide. Big ups...

Brian (unverified)
Sep 05, 2004
good food

got nothing bad to say about it, a great place to sit down and eat. Nothing fancy, nothing grungy, just good tasty affordable food. Bit too friendly staff but very good overall.

Katrina (unverified)
Mar 30, 2004
Great Take Out

The decor is cheesy, they DO like to clean while you're eating, but the food is GREAT. I love the almond

veggiemomma (unverified)
Mar 25, 2004
they love to clean their tables...

I've gotta be in the mood to go to this restaurant. Most of the time I get a good meal. However, it seems like when I am eating, the waiters and waitresses are always spraying Windex on the glass-topped tables to clean them off. This is the main reason why we do not go there more often.

shabbychef (unverified)
Feb 11, 2004
ehh, was kinda ok

i agree there is a lot of selection,
at least in comparison to some places
i've stumbled in to. my parents thought it was ok. this is located
in some strip mall, and the interior
is bathed in the regular modern vulgarities of drop ceilings and neon lights. the food was a bit too salty,
but i give them points for trying.

lily (unverified)
Dec 16, 2003

mandarin is super good, but unfortionatly i recently found out that they use refined c&h sugar [which contains animal ingredients] in their food items. randy says that you can request that they dont put it in your food when you order.

Linda_vegan (unverified)
Oct 24, 2003
okay if you have a strong stomach

They say they know what vegan means. They say just about everything can be vegan. The food can be really bizarre and not that great. I am really suspicious of its veganocity, quite frankly. I really enjoyed the veg. lo mein and wonton soup. But the wonton soup makes my belly hurt. I don't know.

Pitch (unverified)
May 27, 2003
Great Food!!!!

Awesome lunch deals. Great tasting food, and good service. Highly recommened, nice place to take friends out to eat so everyone can enjoy!!!

David (unverified)
May 20, 2003
Damn Good Chinese Food

I had been craving chinese food for the longest time, and Mandarin Dynasty really fulfilled it. Their Lunch Special is a great deal, really filling for such a low price.

cari (unverified)
May 03, 2003
okay but not great

i'm not crazy about the food here. although they have a good selection, many of their dishes have sugary sauces.

David (unverified)
Apr 30, 2003
Vege lunch special is good deal.

I think the lunch special is a good deal. You Can get alot of food. They seem to be sugar happy and many of the dishes are super sweet tasting.